Colleen's thoughts on writing, directing and coaching, and her unique take on life itself!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Affection is not species specific

Pictures of any creatures being affectionate make me smile. And strangely enough, eat less.

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Release, resolutions and resolve

I love this time of year.

Befitting the season, it's when those things that must - leaves, hard times, things that create misery - fall away, allowing a quiet snowfall of life to cover us, giving way to a touch of demi-dormancy so we can reflect on what worked and what did not over the past twelve months.

Sort of like emotional and mental assessment and house cleaning, which in turn opens up all sorts of room to prepare for what we know is ahead; tuning up a welcoming attitude for everything in store that's unexpected. Limiting expectations is the best way I know to keep maintain that attitude of gratitude for everything life hands us.

I have big goals, but keep the expectation low of knowing exactly how something should happen - or how it will look in the end. I set and keep goals - it's fun for me - but sometimes the way an accomplished goal appears is not exactly what I had in mind when I started.

Greeting unplanned events and experiences with open arms - especially those that initially feel so painful - is probably the most challenging.

Especially when, so often, the occurrences that feel the worst can actually turn out to be the best, most positive turn of events - or set up a situation that creates a much better outcome than anything we could have perceived in our unrecognized ignorance at the time we got zapped!

I think awareness and action are the best tools to deal with life.

When I've just let life happen without taking any responsibility for initiating what I want or what I want/need to do, I've run into some unexpected and rocky walls because I wasn't paying attention.

Not paying attention to how poorly someone treats us can result in being unnecessarily hurt; not paying attention to those we cherish or relationships we treasure can cause us to lose them - and never see it coming because our focus was somewhere else.

I try to keep an ear and eye out for both sides so I can take action either way.

Walking on eggs around someone, never knowing what will set him or her off - is no way to live. People - even disagreeable people - are free to be who they are, but for me? Without anger or rancor after trying to deal with the situation, I need to extract myself from the situation in order to protect myself from what I perceive to be an unsafe environment. Fortunately, these are almost non-existent in my life these days.

On the flip side, to maintain valued friendships and relationships, they need to be stoked and stroked with affection and attention with relish and often - something I find incredibly fun. I believe the more love there is, the more love there is!

So it's time to take stock of everything going on in and around me - so I can see where I need to bring my game up, and where I need to streamline or alter what I'm doing to make it all work. Make my life feel like I spend more energy moving forward rather than treading water or being swept away by circumstances I could have influenced - actually changed - if I had been paying attention and taking action.

Every day life issues like work, health and my new vegetarian lifestyle are part of this equation.

I guess my goal in life is more than just to learn everything - it's also to be the best me, the best person I can be. Which to me means being true to myself and my values, being as kind as possible to others (honesty without brutality is kinder than patronizing someone), as well as taking the best care of myself, those I love and those for whom I am responsible.

So I guess my resolution this year, simply put, would be: to pay attention and take action on what I can.

There's something called a "broken window policy" and it helps keep us on track to where we want to go. It's used in neighborhoods where problems have previously festered. After an area is cleaned and fixed up? Every single broken window is tended to - mended and fixed - immediately upon its discovery, preventing more of them from popping up along with the onslaught of attending problems.

I'll put signs around the house - PAY ATTENTION! ACTION! - to remind me of my resolution. They'll also help me make sure to immediately mend every emotional or experiential broken window that appears along the way.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Essential emotional nutrients!

The World Health Organization should add two elements to our minimum emotional/nutritional daily requirements (MDR's):

Vitamins N (urture) and A (ffection).

Affection and nurturing help our bodies produce endorphins.

Those are peptides that help us feel better, recover more completely and faster from whatever might be ailing us (physical and emotional) and give us a sense of well-being.

Making certain we have ample doses of both daily assists us feel good about ourselves, creating a much more positive attitude, helping us feel more open to accept other solutions, which adds up to being capable of taking on whatever life hands us.

In addition to tons o' hugs from people I see daily - including clients; I get puppy and kitty snuggles and kisses galore (the latter a little sand-paperish); scalp massages, air waves, manicures and pedicures from my favorite students at the nearby Gene Juarez Academy of Cosmetology; facials and skin work from my friend Kelli; massages; and frequent social visits to Kelli and her four month old baby Brock - who is very much a kissyface boy.

I love great conversation with friends and people I know who are exceptionally smart, accomplished or insightful.

I'm lucky because I work out of my home studio, so my pets are around me all the time. The folks I coach tend to fall in love with them as well. When little Oscar passed away recently, friends and those I coach who created a separate relationship with him over the months and years came to say good-bye.

I also like to be affectionate with people by sharing hugs, making appropriate physical contact or showing my fondness in other ways - like telling people for whom I care that I care about them or love them or that they are important to me.

I like to express appreciation to friends and others who do things for me; I like to write messages of thanks and make other small gestures that essentially say thanks for being you.

I tell my pets, "You know why I love you? Just because you're you." Come to think of it, I tell the kids I know and work with the same thing. Oh, yeah - and the adults.

I take classes to nurture my craft and mind: writing, poetry, drawing. I read, watch documentaries, research, investigate, attend presentations, surf the net and whatever else strikes my fancy to learn. I'm taking my first online class about Writing Romantic Screenplays next month.

I meditate, read spiritual works, write all sorts of things for myself and others, play piano, sing, play guitar and entertain anyone who will watch/listen, view and create art, attend concerts and listen to every type of music to nurture my soul.

Come to think of it, perhaps the most nurturing thing we can do for ourselves is laugh. Laughter kicks in torrents of endorphins more quickly than any other means of feeling good. Fortunately, I spend a lot of my day laughing with the folks I coach, the pets are a great source of laughter and I prescribe TV shows for myself like The Office, 30 Rock, Scrubs, Desperate Housewives and Looney Tunes cartoons, as well as listen to Stephanie Miller for a hearty ha-ha.

I love to walk, hike, now bike, work out at the gym, and have started to actually work in my yard to nurture myself and my environment physically. Before this year, God was my gardener. Now .. I'm learning how to care for and enhance the beauty of the rather wild wooded area in which I live. That's also a spiritual experience, come to think of it.

Yep, vitamins Affection and Nurture=endorphin production, and part of my MDR's.

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